I’m delighted to welcome this week’s excellent guest… none other than the extremely entertaining and thoroughly good bloke that is Abir Mukherjee! Abir is the author of the Wyndham & Banerjee series of crime novels set in colonial-era India. His books have been translated into fifteen languages and have won various awards including the CWA Dagger for best Historical Novel and the Prix du Polar Européen. He co-hosts the Red Hot Chilli Writers podcast which takes a wry look at the books, writing, and the creative arts.
How many pairs of shoes do you have?
Right so here’s the thing. Before lockdown, I had a sensible number of shoes – which is five pairs: black ones; brown ones; boots; and trainers x2.
Then lockdown came along and I went a bit stir crazy and bought so much stuff that I didn’t need, including footwear. I think I now have about 13 pairs, including four pairs of trainers, four pairs of boots and assorted other stuff like hiking boots (I’ve never been, nor will I ever go hiking).
The saddest part is, they all just sit there while I spend my days in my slippers.
What were you in a previous life?
Which one? I’m technically a Hindu, which means I’ve had loads of them. I’d like to think I was Machiavelli in one of them, but in honesty I’s be a crap Machiavelli. I keep telling my enemies all my plans on Twitter. More likely I was probably something rubbish, like a dung beetle.
What is the most annoying thing?
That bit of skin next to your nail that comes loose and hurts like buggery. I think it’s called a hang-nail – which sounds wrong to me.
What are you having for lunch tomorrow?
I really have no idea. Depends what’s in the fridge. I hope there’s fois gras and french bread. More likely it’ll be white bread and fish paste. It’s a wonder I’m still so fat.
When did you last sleepwalk?
I have never sleepwalked. Sleep-talking – now that’s another matter.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Is there life on other planets?
Of course there is. They’re just smart enough to know to give this a planet a wide berth. (And they’re laughing at us)
Who’s your favourite cartoon character?
Captain Caveman. I see a lot of myself in Captain Caveman. Hopelessly out of time and out of style.
What’s your secret party piece?
I can name the capital of any country. At least I could. I don’t get invited to parties much anymore.
Do you find it hard to take criticism?
Shut your face.
* * *
* * *